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A Preamble is a preliminary or preparatory statement; an introduction. The introductory part of a statute or deed, stating its purpose, aims, and justification.

Features of the Preamble

  • Preamble provides legitimacy and assistance in interpretation of statute.
  • Preamble needs to be referred to plead the purpose of enactment
  • Preamble helps ascertain the intention of the Legislature.
  • Preamble is to be examined when there is any ambiguity in statute.
  • Preamble can be used for limited aim and object only.
  • Preamble cannot override the expression of provision of the enacting part.
  • It is not the source of any substantive power
  • It can be used to remove ambiguity

Related Cases / Recent Cases / Case Laws

  • Powell vs Kempton Park Race Course Co.,
    • Lord Halsbury held that:
      • A preamble may afford useful light as to what a statute intends to reach, and
      • that, if an enactment is itself clear and unambiguous, no preamble can qualify or cut down the enactment.
  • Kathi Ranning vs State of Saurashtra, AIR 1952 SC 123: Section 11 of Saurashtra State Public Safety Measures Ordinance, 1948 as amended was upheld as the preamble of the Act stated the policy was to provide for security of the State, maintenance of public order and maintenance of supplies and services essential to the community in the state of Saurashtra.

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